CHRIST THE KING (MATTHEW
With the feast of Christ the King,
we end the liturgical year. Next Sunday, we begin the liturgical
year with the first Sunday of Advent. Note that the message of both
Sundays is the same. . .a preparation for the second coming of
Christ. The whole Catholic spirituality is eschatological, meaning
to say, directed towards the second coming of Christ, whether it is
through our personal death or the end of the world.
Advent is not so much a preparation
for the first coming since that is gone and over with. The manner by
which the heroes of the Old Testament prepared for the first coming
is essentially similar with the manner we must prepare ourselves for
the second coming. Thus, with Advent, we recall how the Old
Testament heroes prepared for the first coming of Christ.
The feast of Christ the King tells
us how we must prepare. A description of the judgment at the end
times goes this way: Christ, the Divine Judge, will separate the
goats from the sheep and condemn the goats, not so much for
committing sin but for not performing good works. Christ did not say
they were going to hell because of murder or fornication, but for
not having fed the hungry.
These good works, however, must be
the fruits of a way of life which St. Hippolyus described thus:
lovers of the poor and of strangers, they did not make an idol of
wealth, who took care of orphans and widows. They kept the seal of
faith unbroken, they listened to my Scriptures, longed for my words,
observed my law day and night. Like good soldiers, they shared in my
The good works enumerated, like
feeding the hungry, were more physical in the Old Testament but are
more spiritual in the New Testament. And so, the hungry, today, are
those hungry for the words that lead to holiness and the thirsty are
those who yearn for heavenly justice. The naked are those deprived
of sanctifying grace and the imprisoned are those enslaved by their
habit of sin.
And for the good work to be
deserving of eternal life, it must be done to one of this the least
of My brethren. And who are these? . . . those who are truly
seeking God. How can you feed one who hates to be holy with the
knowledge towards holiness. He is not hungry.